When you buy boat insurance, one of the pieces of coverage you need is liability coverage. This is coverage that will help you compensate others when you are at fault for accidents. It will often pay for third-party bodily injuries and property damage. However, liability coverage can contain a variety of specialized coverage related to unique loss scenarios. Make sure that you invest in the right liability coverage for your own protection.
What is Marine Liability Coverage?
Liability insurance usually does not pay the policyholder directly. Instead, it compensates third parties harmed because of the insured person’s negligence. In the context of boat insurance, the coverage will pay when the insured boater is at-fault for the harm occurring to third parties. It helps the insured boater pay for damage to people or items that were not on the insured boat.
Often, boat insurance pays for property damage and injuries arising from at-fault accidents. So, for example, if you collide with another boat while on an excursion, and the wreck is your fault, then liability insurance can pay for the other boat’s damage and its passengers’ injuries.
Nearly all boat insurance will cover bodily injuries and property damage. However, coverage can often contain a variety of specialized liability protection, too. These terms can apply to the unique losses that are specific to marine accidents.
Understanding Specialized Coverage
Within your boat liability insurance, you will often find unique coverage that you might not see in other motor vehicle liability coverage. Consider a few of these:
- Guest passenger liability insurance: Coverage will extend the boat’s liability limits to those who captain the boat but are not the policyholder. So, if you lend your boat to a friend, then this coverage can apply if they cause an accident.
- Salvage & recovery insurance: Should you boat founder, then you might have to cover the costs of removing it from the waterway.
- Fuel spill liability coverage: Boat accidents might cause fuel spills. These could contaminate the local environment. With fuel spill liability coverage, you can cover the costs of cleanup and property damage caused by the spill. Certain laws require a boat’s owner to cover the cost of these losses.
Your boat insurance will usually pay you up to the limit of your liability coverage. Deductibles often will not apply.
If you want additional coverage, then consider buying umbrella liability insurance. Umbrella coverage is a policy that can provide excess liability insurance above the limits of a standard policy. If you ever exceed the limit of your marine liability insurance, or if your policy won’t pay for certain liability costs, then umbrella coverage might apply.